When it comes down to QUIC cloud vs Cloudflare while you’re out looking for a cloud CDN, there are several things that you’ll want to consider including if you’re going to be using a LiteSpeed web server, whether you need to do any image optimization, whether you’re hosting WordPress sites and require dynamic caching and also whether you require some more advanced speed techniques like optimizing critical CSS or using feature such as a low quality image placeholder.
All of these things matter when making the right decision as to which CDN service you should use. Through this article we’re going to talk about caching WordPress a lot on both QUIC.cloud as well as Cloudflare. We’re not going to touch on other CMS like Joomla for example.
What is QUIC cloud?
QUIC.cloud CDN is a service that went out of beta in 2021 and is content delivery network service aimed at those running a WordPress website. QUIC.cloud is made up of CDN servers located worldwide and most importantly they offer end to end HTTP/3 using the QUIC protocol. Those using this content delivery network benefit most when coupling it with a LiteSpeed Server and need to use their WordPress plugin to automatically sync up with the QUIC CDN.
They offer a control panel so that you can do things such as set your origin server, setup your DNS records and enable image optimization. QUIC.cloud are one of the only services at the time of this article (August 2021) to use LiteSpeed cache to serve both static and dynamic HTML pages to visitors by use of their cache plugin. They offer a fair allocation of free monthly traffic and brute force protection (note: not the same as DDoS protection).
What is Cloudflare?
Cloudflare is one of many content delivery networks that aims to serve static files based on your dynamic content. They are a CDN which offer a ton of other features which mostly started around security and DNS for your website however they also have a world wide network of servers offering world class DDoS protection which has been seen by many to be a big deal. Millions of users access content served by Cloudflare each day and they also have free plans available.
Cloudflare plans moving into the paid versions are aimed at businesses to enable websites to load faster and proxy content through their platform which means traffic never needs to touch your origin server. They are also more recently now an accredited domain registrar so you can go and register a website domain name through them (as long as you use their DNS). They offer bot protection on their paid plans as well as lossless image optimization. The Cloudflare CDN has been around for many years and also includes Cloudflare APO which is the automatic platform optimization for WordPress.
What is a Cloud CDN?
A CDN cloud services delivery service is a group of server clusters which serve websites to your visitors locally so their data doesn’t have to travel around the world to your site. When you allow someone to see that site it matters which part of the world they are visiting from due to things like latency and distance. By using a CDN, they are given access by the closest server to the content on that website and it looks and behaves like the same website. The load balancing features of aggregating content by the network is dramatically improved and also serves to reduce server cost on your origin server significantly.
What is HTTP/3?
HTTP/3 will replace HTTP/2 as its new protocol. The QUIC Protocol for the Transport Layer based Network was developed in 2012. Its primary benefit is to enhance a user’s performance by using multiplex connections and avoid the head-of-line blocking of the current HTTP/2 experience. Cloudflare has seen 12.4% faster data time to first bit on benchmark when benchmarking its performance. QUIC attempts to address traffic delays and reduce the latency of connections.
How is QUIC.cloud different from Cloudflare?
QUIC.cloud caches all static and dynamic HTML pages. This puts an absolute contrast to Cloudflare that caches static files. The former cache also uses the LiteSpeed extension on your back end to determine which pages have changed and then removes them selectively in the cache. This is probably a key differentiation factor between the two along with LQIP generation on the QUIC.cloud CDN.
Both Cloudflare and QUIC.cloud CDN offer free services and features that could benefit your users or your client. If you’re implementing a low traffic site, sometimes you aren’t too concerned about caching however the benefit of these two platforms is they allow faster load time by putting servers closer to your users.
- Benefits from the use of the LiteSpeed cache plugin
- Offers dynamic caching as well as critical CSS generation
- Works just with WordPress sites
- Offers end to end HTTP/3 using the QUIC protocol
- Uses ESI technology to offer caching for logged in users on your WordPress site (dynamic content)
- Has a free plan available
- Suitable for multiple sites
In contrast to the Cloudflare CDN:
- Also works with WordPress, but not as tightly integrated
- Can cache dynamic content however this will be cached statically – you’ll need to look into the Cloudflare APO for better compatibility with WordPress
- Can be used alongside the LiteSpeed cache plugin although your probably shouldn’t
- Has a free plan available too
- Also suitable for multiple sites on your host
QUIC.cloud is more integrated than Cloudflare.
QUIC is much richer in feature features and is more in sync with your website than Cloudflare APO. You can sign up and it’s free to try. Another exciting potential feature is how users can ‘prewarm’ multiple POPs. It is a very well integrated CDN with WordPress as it offers that dynamic content cache for your website by working directly with the LiteSpeed plugin. This is something you can’t currently do on a Cloudflare account.
When talking about tight integration we also need to look at other items which help speed up WordPress on a CDN such as using a fast origin server or investing in LiteSpeed cache. LiteSpeed offer enterprise web server software for organisations and many web hosts have this available on their servers with the cache addon.
If you have booted up some linux servers on Digital Ocean for example, you won’t have LiteSpeed cache and you won’t be connected to the QUIC.cloud CDN or Cloudflare CDN. By adding the correct A record to your DNS configuration you can connect your domain name to your hosting and then eventually switch your traffic to a CDN.
What software do I need?
To enable LiteSpeed cache you’ll need a LiteSpeed WordPress plugin and optionally (but recommended) is that you also have the LiteSpeed enterprise web server which has a cache addon to make this process much more seamless and efficient at generating static cache files for your WordPress website. This allows dynamic content to be cached on your host and not just static content.
Cloudflare Counters with APO
Cloudflare has apparently realized that QUIC.cloud presents a significant threat and launched its unique tool APO that does very much the same. The tool costs $5 per month for customers using the free plan on the Cloudflare platform while QUIC.cloud offers a considerably discounted free account that has additional monthly bandwidth if you have a LiteSpeed web server as part of your hosting behind the scenes. Cloudflare have launched this product as part of their way to get around the issues of only caching static content and enticing users to switch to their platform.
Automatic Platform Optimization bypasses the cache on standard WordPress and WooCommerce cookies for authenticated users. This ensures customized content for a specific user is only visible to that user when they are browsing from the internet.
Core Web Vitals and a CDN
Static site generators, services such as QUIC.cloud and Cloudflare as well as online static hosts like Netlify are becoming increasingly popular as content creators and owners strive to achieve better outcomes on their sites. Google is increasingly looking to penalise sites which offer a poor user experience from a core web vitals perspective.
QUIC Cloud is an ambitious new initiative which really embraces HTTP/3 for end to end protocol support. We expect the switch from server side and client side sites to be more secure and faster than ever before! Cloudflare does offer a key benefit of DDos protection which should not be forgotten, even if you are using their free plan and caching static content. When determining the customer experience, speed and online experience are crucial for digital businesses while they build product value and customer empathy. QUIC Cloud is quickly becoming our choice as we strive to deliver our clients the best digital journeys possible.